After putting it off for week after week after week, I finally got around to revamping the ol’ blog on Monday. I kicked that pesky Movable Type software to the curb, and in its place I’ve installed a shiny new interface, courtesy of WordPress. No longer will you have to sit there and wait thirty seconds for a comment to go through, and unreliable CAPTCHA codes look to be a thing of the past. Don’t believe me? Go on and leave a comment right now. The speed will blow you away. At last, it seems this site has caught up with the rest of the Internet!
But the groovy changes don’t end there. Now this site features pagination, which means that you all can browse to your hearts’ content — no longer restricted to just the first fifteen entries on the front page. I don’t think you realize how badly and for how long I have wanted this very basic functionality. Every time I tried to add a plugin for pagination on Movable Type, I would nearly break the blog. But now, now I have pagination!
I also have a randomized banner now, which makes me giddier than Oprah at a Josh Groban signing. In fact, I took this opportunity to redesign the entire site. I tried to remove the clutter; although, the necessary advertising will certainly work against me on that front. Either way, I’m going for a cleaner, sleeker look, and so far I think I’m most of the way there. I’ll surely be tweaking the look of the site though over the next few days.Of course, the changes don’t come without drawbacks. Exporting to WordPress meant that I’d have to make a few sacrifices, the two biggest being tags and permalinks. As far as I can tell, there’s no way to export tags from Movable type easily, and thus two and a half years of judicious tagging has now more or less been thrown out the window. Now I’m starting from scratch. This will be most disheartening for my various friends. As some of you may have noticed, there has been a fierce battle between the various “personalities” on this site to earn the most tags as possible, with jash and IndianJones duking it out for first place. Well, this tagging situation has been something of a setback on that front. The good news for jash and IndianJones is that their names are so unique that all I had to do was search for them in my blog posts and then add the appropriate tags en masse (thanks to a batch operation) to the results that popped up. However, Sly is not as lucky. A search for “Sly” brings up an inordinately large number of posts, mostly because WordPress includes words like “SeriouSLY” in its results (there’s no way to search for “Sly” alone). And so I simply cannot add the Sly tag with confidence as I’m unable tell without investigating each and every result whether or not the post deserves the “Sly” tag.
The other major drawback to this conversion is that my permalinks are now a touch screwed up. You see, Movable Type employs a underscores whereas WordPress goes the hyphen route. Furthermore, Movable Type will truncate a link after a certain number of characters whereas WordPress will not. Here’s an example:
Remember that R2D2 Cake post? Well, it still gets a large amount of traffic everyday. If you Google it, you get this link:
However, that link is for the old Movable Type site. Now you’ll find that same post here instead:
Note that hyphens have replaced the underscores. Also note the lack of truncation. What this all means is that people who normally reach this site via a search engine or a bookmark might now be screwed. And by them being screwed, I mean I’M screwed because I’ll be missing out on their traffic. Oh well. I suppose it’s worth it.
Lastly, the forums are temporarily down. I’ll put them back up at some point, but let’s face it — they kind of were dead anyway.
So for now, please enjoy the new site, and keep an eye out for increased usability in the near future!